a worthy quarry

I never thought of repaying a loan as a happy experience, but then when you think about it, it really is, you're happy to finally be freed of the debt and the responsibility that until now was hanging over your head. Anyways, that's the metaphor the Noam Elimelech uses to describe how each Jew is meant to return the Torah to its source, as evidenced by the saying of Chazal in the Talmud: אשרי מי שבא לכאן ותלמודו בידו - praiseworthy is he who arrives here with his learning in hand.

He explains that the Torah is the means by which a Jew can return to His origins, can connect to HaShem. (playing off what we said yesterday) However this is only possible if his learning is performed l'shma, (through great self sacrifice and mesirat nefesh) for the sake of connecting to HaShem and not, heaven forebid, for other motivations.

How is this possible that (1) a Jew can return Torah to its source, (2) that the Torah helps us to return to our source? The Noam Elimelech explains, both we and the Torah were carved out from beneath the HaShem's holy throne, the kiseh haKavod.

This is the meaning of זאת חוקת התורה - this is the place from which the Torah was carved. [carved is from the root חקק, which is an interpretation of the word חוקת]


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